An ultra-rare Game & Watch build, actually dating back to before Nintendo had its branding involved with the hardware, has been put up for auction.

While Nintendo and the Game & Watch series of handhelds are practically synonymous these days, the earliest Game & Watch machines were built by North American toy company, Mego. The unit you see before you was manufactured by Mego and actually served as a way for salesman to demonstrate the potential of traditional Game & Watch machines; because retail units are so small, demonstrations were difficult to see, so this larger screen did the job wonderfully.

This particular unit actually plays a fully working version of Vermin - one of the 60-or-so Game & Watch games that were available at the time. You can see it working and hear more about it in the video below.

The machine is up for auction right now at Heritage Auctions - the very same place which recently sold the famous Nintendo PlayStation. Bidding ends in 16 days' time as we write this, with the current high bid standing at $575. You can see it for yourself here if you're interested.

It's not often you see something like this pop up for sale. Have you ever seen one of these before? Let us know in the comments.

[source comics.ha.com, via gizmodo.com]